Sede Vacante, 1559

Muntoni 2; Berman 1058, PCGS graded MS-62

Rome. SEDE VAC-ANTE 1559, canopy and crossed keys over shield. Reverse: S PETRVS APOSTOLVS, St. Peter enthroned facing, raising hand in benediction and holding Gospels; RO-MA in exergue.

The death of the despised Pope Paul IV resulted in such rioting in Rome that more than 3000 troops were required to restore order. Under these trying conditions the cardinals met in conclave from September 5 to December 25, 1559, to elect his successor. This conclave was largely dominated by political wrangling between French and Spanish backed factions and attempts by the cardinal-nephews of Paul IV to save themselves from reprisal. In the end, Giovanni Angelo Medici was elected Pope Pius V and given a mandate to reform the Church institutions and reconvene the Council of Trent.